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This study presents an empirical snapshot of management challenges among different types of service industries (Service Factory, Service Shop, Mass Service, and Professional Service). Based on data collected (sample size = 273; response rate 97.5 percent) from the managers of four services (Fast Food, Auto Repair, Retail Sales, Legal Services) we show how management challenges change with customer contact/customization and labour intensity. These results have important implications for understanding “real life'' service operations, for process improvement, and for service design.


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© Emerald. DOI: 10.1108/09564230010276924. Final version published as: Verma, R. (2000). An empirical analysis of management challenges in service factories, service shops, mass services and professional services. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 11(1), 8-25. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.